Re-Viewing The Surrogacy Laws – The Friendly Over The Not So Friendly!

Surrogacy laws vary from state to state, depending on the jurisdiction. Naturally, the feeling towards surrogacy and its laws are different. While some states have ‘categorical written legislation’ – laws related to specific instances like the ones involving the LGBT community – others fall back on common law regimes to deal with legal settlements pertaining to surrogacy.

Hence there are states which have pro-surrogacy laws, while others have refused to enforce any such pro-surrogacy laws. There are also states which penalize anyone indulging in commercial surrogacy.

Therefore, it would be a good idea to have a basic knowledge about such surrogacy friendly and unfriendly states; hence a review of surrogacy laws to help you out.

Re-Viewing The Surrogacy Laws
Surrogacy friendly states:

  • Such states enforce both commercial as well altruistic surrogacy, and have straightforward legal facilities for the intended parents to claim legal custody of the child.
  • Some state laws are relatively friendly, and offer their support for married heterosexual couples only.

Point to note:

Gestational surrogacy is given precedence over traditional surrogacy; the latter receives little or no legal support whatsoever.

The following are the surrogacy friendly states:


  • One of the first states to approve of surrogacy and draw up surrogacy friendly laws.
  • Governor Bill Clinton passed ACT 647 in 1989, stating that the biological father and his wife will have custody of the child after birth, even if the wife is not the biological mother. In case he is unmarried, he alone has the legal right over the child born of surrogacy.
  • However, the state’s stand in this regard is a bit confusing for homosexual or same sex couples.


  • Permits commercial surrogacy for all couples, irrespective of status or sexual orientation.

Non-friendly states:

  • Michigan: forbids surrogacy, and engaging in it can lead to a penalty fine of $50,000 and up to 5 years imprisonment.
  • New York: also forbids commercial surrogacy, and does not recognize pre-birth orders from other states.

The final verdict however depends on where the surrogate is located and the place where you have drawn the contract. But even so, there are a lot of considerations that you should take stock of before you engage in surrogacy.

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